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Doctor errors harm patients and lead to preventable deaths

The axiom, "To err is human," is commonly stated to explain the many mistakes and errors that people make each and every day. It is doubtful that any San Diego resident has gone their entire life without a slip-up of some kind, and though some blunders are normal, there are some contexts in which mistakes seem inexcusable. One place that individuals expect to be error free is their doctors' offices, but according to some studies doctors make many mistakes that put their patients in harm's way.

In fact, research suggests that doctor errors and other medical mistakes could be one of the top ten leading causes of death in the United States. One study found that more than 200,000 people may have died in a given year due to doctor mistakes that include adverse reactions to prescribed medications.

Injuries sustained during medical care are also a major problem for Americans. Another set of data suggest that up to one million people are hurt in hospitals each year and that over 40 percent of surveyed individuals think that they have suffered harm as a result of doctor and medical care.

With so much research highlighting the very real dangers that individuals may face when they go to seek medical treatment it can be difficult for patients to know what rights they have with regard to their health care providers. In general, doctors and medical care providers owe their patients a duty of care to act responsibly and provide adequate treatment. When they do not and patients suffer harm, those who suffer at the hands of negligent doctors may initiate civil lawsuits based on medical malpractice to attempt to recover their losses and move forward with their lives.

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